The International Symposium on ‘Cultural Heritage & Development: A challenge or a contribution to sustainability?’ is organized by the UNESCO Afghanistan Office in cooperation with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the World Bank Group and the Italian Government. The event will take place in Rome (Italy) from 25th to 27th May 2016, and will be convened within the framework of ‘The Afghanistan Heritage & Extractive Industries Development Initiative’, a UNESCO programme financed by the World Bank through the Afghan Ministries of Mines & Petroleum and of Finance, aiming specifically at ensuring the protection of cultural heritage sites within mining areas in the country.
The Symposium is specifically conceived to discuss the integration between the protection of cultural heritage and modernization processes. While the international debate has moved forward in embodying 'Culture' into a new generation of sustainable development goals and targets, as well demonstrated by the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is still a number of countries where rapid and inadequate development initiatives constitute possible threats for the preservation of cultural assets.
The Symposium will serve as a platform to share experiences from a number of countries and provide an opportunity to discuss challenges encountered, mitigation strategies adopted and results achieved. The initiative will gather representatives of governments, internationally renowned experts, research institutes and non-governmental institutions from both developed and post-conflict/developing countries, in order to facilitate a broad and inclusive discussion on how cultural heritage can be actually embodied in modernization processes to achieve the overall goal of sustainable development.
Through a reflection on key themes, such as how to mitigate possible threats to cultural heritage induced by unintegrated planning approaches, suitable governance systems at local and national levels, the contribution of culture to equity and inclusion of local communities, job creation and sustainable tourism, the Symposium will contribute to encourage culture-based strategies for regeneration programmes, especially addressed to all those countries where rampant modernization processes could seriously affect the chance of accomplishing sustainable development goals.